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Inspiration exists, but it must find us working. ~Pablo Picasso
It’s the time of year when people start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. All of us make them with the best intentions in mind. But how do you make them last? What makes them meaningful enough to follow through on?
The first step: What is your New Year’s resolution? Suppose you wake up on New Year’s Day and your resolution has come true. What would be the first thing you noticed that would tell you something was different? What would be happening as you went through your day? What would you be seeing? What would you be hearing? What would you be feeling? What difference would it make in your life? What would be the benefits of having this resolution a reality?
People in your life: Who else would notice your resolution was a reality? What would s/he or they say they notice you doing? Would your resolution make any difference to her/him/them? If so, what difference would it make?
Capturing your Resolution: Part of making a resolution last is developing a rich picture of it. You have to be able to really imagine yourself doing something, to see it, hear it, and feel it with every cell of your body. Some people find creating that rich image is all they need. Other creative types enjoy creating an image, a symbol, or a representation of their goal through artistic endeavours. Would it be helpful to create a collage, a painting, a drawing, a photo, a sculpture, or to have a mantra or a saying that reminds you of your resolution and motivates you to act?
Exceptions: Once you have a very clear image of what you want life to be like when you’re living your resolution, ask yourself, are there any times now or in the past when you’ve reached bits of that resolution—even in the tiniest of ways? What did you do that was helpful? How did you get that to happen? What can you use from that experience or experiences that would be useful now?
A past or present relationship: What would someone in your life—past or present—say that s/he knows about you that would tell him/her that you can do this? Who would be the least surprised that you’re living your resolution?
Where are you at? On a scale of 0-10, if 10 is you’re living your resolution and 0 is the opposite, where would you say you are now? What are you doing that puts you there? Where would that person in the paragraph above put you? What would s/he say s/he’s noticed that you’re doing that puts you there?
One small step: What is one small thing you can do that would put you up a notch on the scale the week after New Years? Once you’ve decided, ask yourself, is that a small step or a big step? If it’s big, ask yourself to think small. Change can happen quickly and usually happens with small, realistic steps.
The next step: Once you’ve made that small step, consider what helped you follow through. What’s one other thing you can do that will move you up the scale a notch? Again, think of a small, baby step you can take. Once you made that step, what’s something else you can do? Remember that success builds on success. Keep going, step-by-step. You’ll get there sooner than you think!! Happy New Year!
If you have any comments, questions, or would like someone to help keep you accountable as you work on your New Year’s resolution(s), please let me know!! I look forward to hearing from you!!